FBI Episode 18: Most Wanted
Because of FBI’s abundant success thus far in its first season, CBS is planning a spin-off series titled FBI: Most Wanted, where you may have guessed, they’re looking at those who are most wanted by the FBI. Episode 18 showcases this backdoor pilot.
Guest starring as the Most Wanted team are Julian McMahon as FBI Agent Jess Lacroix, Kellan Lutz as FBI Agent Crosby, Roxy Sternberg as FBI Agent Sheryll Barnes, Keisha Castle-Hughes as FBI Analyst Hana Gibson, Nathaniel Arcand as FBI Agent Clinton Skye, and Alana De La Garza as Assistant Special Agent in Charge Isobel Castille.
The Ultimate Destruction
The episode starts with a family at the dinner table and quickly turns south. The husband of the family, guest star Matthew Lillard as Tommy Gilman comes into the bedroom after dinner to see his bags packed. She knows he cheated on her and wants him to leave. He won’t let her leave the room and she notices blood on his shirt sleeve. Horrified, she pushes past him to see her children slaughtered. From there, he chases her into the bedroom and kills her too. The next morning, the neighbors are concerned to see that the family has not left for church yet. The man goes to check on them, but before he is able, the house explodes into bits and pieces.
At the scene, OA and Maggie quickly come to realize that Tommy Gilman is behind these horrors. He pulled the gas line out and left a lit candle in the basement so that eventually the house would blow up. He then left with one of the family cars.
At the JOC, Valentine and Mosier begin to piece together a possible profile. Kristen reveals the gun used to kill Gilman’s wife would fit the gun given to him as an ICE detective. Mosier doesn’t want to waste time: she is going to call in the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force.
Fugitive Task Force
The introduction of the Task Force is tense at best. In the JOC, Maggie and OA meet with one member, Jess Lacroix, who does not want their help. He works with a team he’s known for years and tells them the case now belongs to him. Ouch. Maggie gives him one of her hard looks, but it doesn’t seem to phase the older man. Is he our team leader? Seems a little rough around the edges.
The new team begins their investigation, though honestly as of yet none of the team members stand out. It’s a basic looking team. They talk to the wife’s sister, check out the crime scene, and talk to his coworkers. One co-worker tells him that Tommy is a hunter and he could spend days alone in the woods. They find a spot he liked to frequent and seemingly are too late, purposely so. Tommy is law enforcement; he’s not dumb and he knows how to beat the system.
Agent Lacroix is a seemingly be all, know all and so far, it’s kind of frustrating. Feels like a stale concept that has been done time and time again—he probably has some story about how he’s become who he is, and how respected he is for just having a great gut. (You’re not as cool as Gibbs, dude.) I’m not loving this backdoor pilot so far, and I miss our team. I know a backdoor pilot opens up the stage for a new show, but it would be nice to see our main characters from time to time…
Care for a Massage… or Death?
They head to the massage parlor where he cheated on his wife. The woman explains that he told her he would not be coming back every week, but he always did, though he said he was afraid of losing his family.
The team tracks him to Buffalo, where they believe they have him cornered at another massage parlor, but they’re too late again. The woman is beaten up, but alive, unlike his track record so far.
Desperate, they realize they need to get back into the ICE database to see if they missed something. But, apparently Agent Lacroix does not make friends easily, so he reaches out to Agent Valentine. Maggie is sitting next to him after he agrees to help, and she asks what their connection is. He explains they worked a case together about seven years ago, and he helped him keep his sobriety.
Annnnnd, here’s our backstory. He also reveals that Agent Lacroix’s wife died in Afghanistan and they had a young daughter. There is always some story for these broody, overzealous agents I feel. If something doesn’t set him apart soon, this might not go so well for long term viewership.
The team sets up at a hotel for the night and discuss the case. We do learn one thing during this time—one of Lacroix’s team member’s is his dead wife’s brother. Hmm. That is a bit interesting. Agent Skye says she would be proud of how Jess is raising their daughter.
In an interesting turn of events, the team discovers that Tommy has a brother that he has been hiding from, but he came to Buffalo to see him. He wanted to see their mother, but she isn’t alive anymore. Tommy goes to look for himself at the cemetery, but a gravestone hasn’t been put it yet. He deescalates further and kills a grounds person in a rage, running off as the man bleeds out.
The brother is not willing to break his loyalty to him, so they’re back at zero trying to figure out how to reach him. They come up with a plan from an old video to trick him into believing she’s still alive and he falls for it. The call hangs up but he’s definitely unaware it is a trap.
In what is arguably the best part of the episode, they have a showdown in a cabin in the woods. Unarmed in a shuffle, Lacroix tunes into his team, setting up a scene so that they can disarm but not kill Tommy and bring him in so that the victims get peace. Maggie is there, as she wanted to be part of the final showdown and she also plays a part. The idea works, and they apprehend him though he’s now missing a limb. (Not so bad considering he killed his entire family…)
Maggie questions how Lacroix had compassion for Tommy and he shrugs it off as it was nothing. The episode ends with a focus on the team putting away their supplies.
Overall, I thought it was a subpar introduction to the new show. Some of the characters were completely bland and only their team leader seemed to have any character arc to him whatsoever and even that was stale and overdone. I’m not expecting an entire background on a team in 43 minutes, but I feel as if for something like this, it would make more sense to make people want to watch the real pilot in the fall. I myself am not convinced that I want to tune in… there was not much chemistry between the characters, though the actors were decent enough in their overall roles.
For what is a most wanted case, the overall arc felt rushed and a bit underwhelming when it came down to the end. While Matthew Lillard shines in any role, as usual, I feel there were weird plot holes that made the episode overall a bit hard to believe. So, what does this mean for FBI: Most Wanted in the fall? It is hard to say right now. The case could change before then and so could those behind the show working on the storyline. Should you void it completely already? No, probably not. But I think I’ll check it out with more caution than excitement.
What do you think? Does Dick Wolf have another hit on his hands, or will this be a dud?
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